REVIEW - Patterns for Effective Use Cases


Title:

Patterns for Effective Use Cases

Author:

Steve Adolph, Paul Bramble, Alistair Cockburn, Andy Pols

ISBN:

Publisher:

Addison-Wesley Professional (2003)

Pages:

236pp

Reviewer:

Lawrence Dack

Reviewed:

April 2004

Rating:

★★☆☆☆


The aim of this book is to provide software developers with "a source of objective criteria by which to judge quality and effectiveness [of use cases]". To this end, the book describes some three-dozen patterns, each of which describes a desirable characteristic. Perhaps half of these address issues of good use case writing practice. The scope of the rest is wide-ranging: some patterns apply to the use case development team, others to the process of writing use cases, still others to desirable properties of a use case collection. Despite the book's title, the 'pattern' concept - in the sense of a clearly identifiable template - is less evident than in the programming language patterns I have seen described: personally, I would describe these more as principles than patterns.

Nomenclature aside, the patterns described here encapsulate valuable advice in my own experience. I am at the tail end of a project to describe the requirements for complex information system. Some two-thirds of the patterns in this book were directly relevant to the project, and in almost all of these my experiences on the project lead me to agree with the authors' description of the issues and the conclusions reached. For me that endorsement is a significant testimonial to the quality of the content, and I would feel that the authors have achieved their stated aim.

However I do have reservations about the manner in which the advice is presented. This is a shame, because the authors have obviously gone to some trouble to make the book accessible: unfortunately, I didn't appreciate some of the devices employed - for example, fictitious anecdotes with 'you' as the wise consultant I found to be more of a distraction than a clarification. This should not detract from the basic worth of the book - it just makes that worth a little harder to extract than it should be.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.





Your Privacy

By clicking "Accept All Cookies" you agree ACCU can store cookies on your device and disclose information in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

By clicking "Share IP Address" you agree ACCU can forward your IP address to third-party sites to enhance the information presented on the site, and that these sites may store cookies on your device.